The Dolphins went into the draft with one of the NFL’s best, and youngest wide-receiver cores. After selecting Rutgers’ wide receiver Leonte Carroo in the third round, the Miami Dolphins drafted another wide receiver in the sixth round. The difference between Carroo and Grant are night and day, however; the skill-set Grant brings to the Dolphins is electrifying. He adds a play-making ability that very few wide receivers possess. Here is a look at Jakeem Grant, and what he could bring to Adam Gase’s offense.
Who is Jakeem Grant?
Jakeem Grant was born and raised in Athens, Texas. Here, Grant would attend John Horn High School, where he would play football throughout the duration of his high school career. It wasn’t long before he showed off his Flash-like speed, leaving opposing defenders in the dust. Grant might not be the biggest wide receiver, but he proved his worth, earning a three-star rating from Rivals.com. The best way to describe Grant, is with this old Mark Twain quote;
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
Those are words Jakeem Grant can live by. The 5’6, 165-pound receiver had offers from seven collegiate schools, including; Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Iowa State, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, and Tulsa. Despite originally committing to Tulsa University, Grant would decide to stay in his home state of Texas, attending Texas Tech University.
As a red-shirt freshman, Grant would sit ideal for the duration of the 2011 season. His debut would later come in 2012, where he would play in all 13 games for the Texas Tech Raiders. Later in the season, Grant would return two kickoffs for touchdowns, with one being a record setting 99-yard touchdown in the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl. Grant would finish the season with 32 receptions, 284 yards and 3 touchdowns. He would receive All-Big 12 first-team freshman honors.
The following season, Grant record 65 receptions for 796 yards and 7 touchdowns. This would be quite the improvement from 2012. In 2014, Grant would put up eerily similar numbers, amassing 938 yards on 67 receptions. He finished the year with 7 touchdowns. Fortunately for Grant, his best season was yet to come. As a senior in 2015, Grant would shatter Michael Crabtree’s Texas Tech school record, combining for 3,286 yards, throughout his four-year career. He would finish the season with the third most all-purpose yards in college football. Grant’s 90 receptions, 1,268 yards and 10 touchdowns were career bests for the explosive wide receiver. As a return man, he added on an additional 1,017 yards and two touchdowns. Grant was ready to take the next step, preparing himself for the NFL draft.
Grant was not invited to the combine. However, during his Texas Tech pro day, a scout from the New Orleans Saints timed Grant at 4.1 seconds during the 40-yard dash. Though it originally seemed as though he broke Bo Jackson’s previous best of 4.12, Grant was “officially timed” at 4.34. The verdict? Grant is a very fast wide receiver, who will cause nightmares for opposing defenses.
When watching Grant play football, the first thing that stands out is his elite speed. Secondly, his ability to get off the line, makes things difficult for opposing defensive backs to lay a hand on him. Here, you can see how explosive Grant can be with the football. He turns a short screen pass into a huge gain, making several defenders miss in the process.
Adam Gase is an offensive genius, who will find multiple ways to use Jakeem Grant. In this play, he shows off his quick burst, releasing freely off the line of scrimmage. The end result? An easy touchdown for the speedy wide receiver from Texas Tech.
Here’s another look at his ability to get off the line of scrimmage, creating separation with his lightning-fast speed.
Here, Jakeem Grant makes a defender miss, causing two LSU defenders to run into one another. Though the end result is a short gain, his quickness is apparent.
In this play, Grant runs a nice route, getting open in the end zone for the easy touchdown. In the NFL, Grant will be better suited as a slot receiver, where he can use his speed and quickness to his advantage. He may not be the biggest wide receiver, but he can use his speed to his advantage.
Here, is the best example of how the Dolphins and Adam Gase intend on using Jakeem Grant. Texas Tech brings him in motion, causing a mismatch for the opposition. As soon as the ball is in his hands, he uses his speed to get to the outside for the touchdown. Expect the Dolphins to move Grant around a lot, creating mismatches all over the field.
Below, you can see what kind of impact Grant can make on special teams. He returns the kickoff 103 yards for the touchdown. After watching Damien Williams return kicks for the last several years, Grant will bring added life to an anemic Dolphins’ return game.
Aside from his physical deficiencies, Jakeem Grant needs to get better at catching the football. Throughout most of OTAs and rookie mini camps, reports have surfaced that Grant needs to get better if he wants to have a significant role with the team moving forward. Below, you can see Grant drop a sure pass between two defenders. Though he was not hit, in the NFL he is almost certainly going to get lit up, resulting in an incompletion.
Here, Grant runs a nice route, finding the soft spot in the defense. Although the quarterback makes an accurate throw, he is unable to come down with the pass. Again, in the NFL he may get lit up, but it’s still a catch he should make.
In this play, Grant runs a nice slant route. Again, despite an accurately thrown ball from the quarterback, he is unable to make the catch. These are the kind of plays Grant must make at the next level, especially if he intends on being more than a return man.
Despite the issues with his hands, Grant must work on his release off the line of scrimmage. In the NFL, he may have trouble with the leagues bigger, stronger cornerbacks, making things difficult for him. Though he relies heavily on his quickness and speed, it may not be enough at the next level. Lastly, he must continue to work on his routes, he reamins
In the end, Jakeem Grant is a speedy wide receiver that the Dolphins will use immediately in the return game. He will likely be Miami’s starting return man, in addition to seeing reps on offense. His unique skill-set adds another dimension to a receiving core, that already has a plethora of options. With the addition of Grant, Miami’s offense is set to exceed expectations. Surely, Adam Gase will find ways to use Grant, seeing opportunities other coordinators may not. He may not be the biggest and strongest wide receiver, but he has the play-making ability to make an impact at the next level. The future is bright for Jakeem Grant, and I expect big things from him in 2016 and beyond.
Lasly, during OTAs Jakeem Grant earned the nickname “Mighty Mouse”. Enjoy.
All clips were taken from draftbreakdown.com
This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow me on Twitter!